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Update: September 16, 2021

Registration is open. Classes marked  **FULL**  are no longer accepting applications. The remaining classes have only one or two spots still available.

COVID information:

    • The American Academy of Bookbinding (AAB) is under the umbrella of the Ah Haa School for the Arts (Ah Haa). Together, we are working on a comprehensive list of COVID health and safety protocols and requirements.
    • This list is available. Please contact us at
    • For AAB / Ah Haa updates, please visit


August 30 – September 10, 2021 | DON GLAISTER | $1500

This is an entry-level fine leather binding class, required for both the Fine Binding and the Integrated Studies Diploma Programs, as well as an intermediate class for continuing Fine Binding students. Over the course of two weeks, students will learn and develop an understanding of traditional bookbinding techniques, interpreted for the twenty-first century.

The focus of the class will be on learning and reinforcing sound leather bookbinding techniques with special emphasis on aesthetic choices available to the modern binder.
All students will complete at least one full leather book in the course. At all stages of the class, students will be exposed to design options (some minor, some major) that directly inform the look and feel of the finished binding. They may also be introduced to simple decorative techniques such as embossing and other surface treatments, as time allows.

Students will learn binding techniques necessary in the making of a laced-on, leather-covered board structure. They will also be acquainted with techniques needed in future fine binding and specialty courses at the Academy. Students will become familiar with hand sewing using a sewing frame, rounding and backing, and weaving headbands, as well as leather paring and applying leather to their books.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Bookbinding I-II, or equivalent experience. This course may be repeated as needed or desired.

September 14 – 18, 2021 | MONIQUE LALLIER | $800

This one-week course will cover a variety of techniques to craft stunning doublures for your bindings. Monique will explore various methods to prepare the boards for doublures including edge-to-edge leather, sunken suede, silk and moiré, doublures decorated with onlays, inlays, or tooling. Monique will also explore non-traditional materials to use for doublures such as metal or wood veneers.

Students will make a series of plaquettes to learn the techniques that can then be used for future project reference. They may also bring books prepared to Monique’s specifications if they would like to apply doublures to the book.

Prerequisites: Intermediate Fine Leather Binding or equivalent experience. Students should understand traditional bookbinding techniques to maximize their learning experience.

September 21 – 25, 2021 | COLEEN CURRY | $800

In this five-day workshop, Coleen will share some of her favorite decorative surface techniques that will enable students to turn leather and suede into beautiful pieces of art to be used for decorative inlays and onlays for bindings, covering books, and flyleaves. We will finish the workshop by making a limp binding with leather doublures using the leather decorated in class.

With Coleen’s guidance and demonstration, the class will experiment with dyes, ink, and paint on both dyed and undyed leather, and discuss each of their uses, limitations, and applications. Students will work with several resist techniques and image transfer techniques. The class will explore a variety of surface finishes that range from highly polished, to satin and matte. There will be an exploration of methods to create depth and dimension on a flat surface, including embossing and sanding. In addition, we will experiment with collage techniques and foil applications on leather splits.

This exploratory and creative class provides participants with an arsenal of unique materials to use for binding or any leather project and will benefit all levels of binders as well as artists wanting to explore a different medium. Students will take home a variety of samples to use as reference.

September 28 – 30, 2021 | COLEEN CURRY | $480

In this 3-day workshop, Coleen will present a flexible leather binding with leather or suede doublures. This binding is an elegant solution to create a strong structure without the time needed to create a full laced-on binding.

October 4 – 8, 2021 | RENATE MESMER | $800

This course will focus on the repair of losses and tears on different types of papers, as well as guarding a text block that has been pulled apart for rebinding. Participants will learn when and how to apply the various repair methods including understanding the behavior of the repair papers and adhesives used. In addition, participants will learn how to make their own cast pulp repair paper with simple equipment and the making of solvent-set repair tissue. This workshop will also address the pros and cons of humidification, and the importance of suitable flattening and drying.

Morning lectures will cover the history of papermaking, basic paper chemistry, material studies as well as damage analysis and condition reports. The goal of this course is to apply as much of the theory in hands-on treatments as possible and give ample time for practice. Students should bring 3 text blocks in need of treatment and sewing, preferably not more than one inch thick and 12 inches tall. The text blocks should show tattered edges, tears, and losses and should have been printed before 1850. No prior conservation experience is necessary to attend this class. Students should have some basic working knowledge of bookbinding to maximize their learning experience.

October 11 – 22, 2021 | PETER GERATY | $1500

A standard of the 19th-century trade shops, the half leather binding features leather on the corners and spine, with cloth or marbled paper on the remaining area of the cover boards. Initially developed as a less expensive leather binding, it utilizes all the craft needed for a full leather binding but doesn’t require a large clean area of the skin; scraps may be used. Because students will be working with smaller scraps of leather, they will have a chance in this class to try different tools and techniques for paring, from an English knife to a spokeshave to the Scharf-fix. The books are sewn on raised cords, laced in endband. The finished product is a visually interesting book, that has the strength of a full leather binding.

Prerequisites: Introduction to Bookbinding II or equivalent experience.

October 25 – 29, 2021 | DON GLAISTER & SUZANNE MOORE | $800

From CONTENT to CONCEPT to OBJECT will address issues involved in bookmaking and binding design. Students will explore various methods of thinking and working that enable them to find individual expression in the book form. Through a series of specific and innovative exercises, each student will develop a concept for their own book and give it form through the consideration of surface design, texture, scale, shape, pattern sequence, and rhythm. Students will consider their binding (or enclosure) and its role in the total object as they design and make the book’s pages. They will bind the book using design concepts developed in the content development phase of the class as well as other ideas and techniques that will apply specifically to the successful completion of the book. The result will be a well-thought-out and inventive integrated whole.

While some of the materials and techniques used in this one-week class are not ones used in fine binding, the concepts of design and invention are directly applicable to leather bindings and the fine binding form.

This class is open to everyone interested in the book and binding design. No previous bookmaking experience is necessary.

NOVEMBER 1 – 12, 2021 | DON GLAISTER | $1500

This two-week class is designed to help students with varying levels of experience in fine binding to refine and review their techniques, develop more advanced and sophisticated ones and even invent new techniques. Emphasis will also be placed on binding design and design execution. Some of the more advanced techniques that may be explored are elaborate woven headbands, edge gilding, gold, blind and painted tooling, inlays, and onlays of leather or other materials. Students will work independently on their particular projects, with close monitoring and guidance from the instructor. They will have an opportunity to explore various design concepts and decorative techniques, depending upon their level of experience and expertise. Students are encouraged to use this class as an extensive fine-tuning of their forwarding techniques or to concentrate on a few, or even one specific advanced technique.

Prerequisites: Fundamentals / Intermediate Fine Binding or equivalent experience. This course may be repeated as needed or desired.

NOVEMBER 15 – 19, 2021 | LANG INGALLS | $800

If you have never taken a bookbinding class before, this is the class for you. This is a one-week class devoted to the fundamental building blocks of bookbinding; it is an introduction to the binding of books into cloth and paper covers.

Starting at the very beginning, students will learn about paper grain, cutting and folding, making and sewing the signature, and producing a pamphlet binding. From there they will expand to multi-signature sewing and case binding. Introduction to the essential tools of the trade will be covered. Students will learn techniques, tricks, and habits that will prepare them to progress to the next level or to practice and explore on their own at home. The marvels of paper, the details of sewing, the characteristics of an attractive book cover, and more are taught in this class.